The Expansion of the Boundaries of the Rational in Robert Grosseteste and Hugh of St. Victor
Ariane Economos

In this paper, I will argue that Western philosophy and theology in the twelfth and thirteenth century saw an expansion of the notion of rationality, such that beings who were previously seen as lying at or beyond the borders of the rational - women, and, even more so, non-human animals - are accorded a fuller participation in reasoning. In particular, I will focus on the work of Robert Grosseteste and Hugh of St. Victor, each of whom, I will argue, expands the notion of who or what properly counts as being rational. The first half of the paper examines Hugh and Grosseteste’s interpretations of the figure of Eve as a symbol of feminine rationality. The second half of the paper argues that Grosseteste’s account of inductive reasoning contains within it the possibility of extending to non-human animals a kind of proto-rationality.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijpt.v3n1a1